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Unit information: Translation and Adaptation in 2015/16

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Unit name Translation and Adaptation
Unit code DRAM30055
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Krebs
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces students to a range of issues related to adaptation and translation in theatre and performance. Covering areas such as conceptual approaches to the investigation of adaptation and translation practices and histories, as well as practical approaches to adaptation and translation, this unit will engage critically and practically with such modes of re-writing. Starting with a historical perspective of the practice of and distinction between adaptation and translation, students will encounter a whole spectrum of examples, ranging from the popular, such as the musical, to the avant-garde and postdramatic. Students will explore the relationship between notions of authorship and original which form the basis of historic understandings of adaptation and translation as process and product. A range of ways of working with source texts in order to produce adaptations and/or translations will be introduced and students will explore strategies for re-writing and re-imagining a variety of texts. These practical explorations will be analysed in terms of their artistic, economic, political and ideological contexts.


  • To develop a critical understanding of histories of adaptation and translation in theatre and performance
  • To be able to contextualise contemporary adaptation and translation practices
  • To explore critically a range of adaptation and translation practices.
  • To develop appropriate critical and theoretical approaches to the chosen practices.
  • To develop appropriate self-reflective analytical methods.
  • To develop presentation skills.
  • To develop group-work project skills as appropriate
  • To be able to reflect on individual work within a collaborative context as appropriate

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. To develop in-depth knowledge of key literature of adaptation studies and translation studies in relation to theatre and performance.
  2. To develop in-depth knowledge of, and apply a range of established critical and theoretical ideas relating to the re-writing of texts in a theatrical context
  3. To demonstrate an advanced ability to analyse and evaluate the use and effect of adaptive and translational strategies and techniques
  4. To demonstrate an advanced conceptual and practical understanding of historical forms and functions of stage adaptation and translation
  5. To demonstrate the ability to develop original and critical strategies of adaptation and translation for a specific theatrical context

Teaching Information

Weekly 2-hour seminars, weekly 2-hour student-led workshops.

Assessment Information

2,500 word essay (40%): ILO 1, 3, 4

3,500 word critically annotated adaptation or translation script (60%): ILO 1 - 5

  • 2,500 word adaptation or translation script and 1,000 word annotation. The annotation should identify and elucidate your translational and/or adaptational choices, offering insight into your decision-making process.

Reading and References

Bassnett, S. and A. Lefevere (1998), Constructing Cultures: Essays on Literary Translation, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters

Cronin, M (2006), Translation and Identity, New York & London: Routledge.

Hutcheon, L. (2006), A Theory of Adaptation, New York & London: Routledge.

Krebs, K.(ed.) (2014), Translation and Adaptation in Theatre and Film, New York & London: Routledge.

Pietrzak-Franger, M. and E. Voigts-Virchow (eds.) (2009), Adaptations: Performing across Media and Genres, Trier: WVT

Sanders J. (2006), Adaptation and Appropriation, New York & London: Routledge.